by Andie Diemer
Sept. 24, 2008
As talk heats up about a bill hitting the Congress floor later this week to create a $700 billion package to assist the U.S. economy, many local Elon citizens are concerned the decision will burden them through taxes.
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, and other members of the Bush Administration are asking Congress to pass a plan that would assist the U.S. financial firms. It is likely to hit the floor this week.
Jerry Oakley, Elon resident and paint contractor, said the idea of the government intervening to help private businesses doesn’t sit right with him.
“First I thought it was kind of crazy for our government to step in there and do that,” Oakley said. “But they’re at that level, and that might not be the case.”
Oakley blames the investment bankers, who have large salaries and severance packages and sometimes work out of greed by telling people where to investment their money.
He wants them to find their own way out, since they are private entities.
“Nobody is going to bail me out if I’m in trouble,” he said.
The trickle-down impact the taxes may implement is something Elon University freshman Joanna Barratt think will likely happen.
She thinks there should be some aid, but not full assistance.
“With the debt of the federal government, it’s hard to say,” Barratt said. “There should be some help, but with the federal debt, it shouldn’t be a huge, huge amount.”
Elon University Economics Professor Jim Barbour said the American people have an unhealthy relationship with greed, credit and debt.
But he said a bailout will be best.
“It’s a lot like hunting flies with a cannon,” he said. “You’ll kill the flies but you also make a huge hole in the wall.”
While the price tag for the bailout ring ups to an average of $2,333 for every U.S. citizen, this may not be as big of a financial impact on them as they may think, he said.
“It might actually be a benefit,” he said. “We need to keep in mind that these assests aren’t going to be worth zero. The tax burden won’t be $700 billion.”
Watch Elon University freshman Joanna Barratt give her opinion on the bailout: